News From MDA'S

COVID-19 Lockdown : FG reopens economy in phases 

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…banks, public transportation to resume operations May 4

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus (COVID-19) has announced the reopening of the nation’s economy in phases of  two weeks each, spanning next six weeks.

Under the phased arrangement, from Monday May 4, banks will open for normal services from 8am to 2pm.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the daily national media briefing of the ccommittee.
According to him, the phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions in the lives of the people following the month-long lockdown.
He said the period would allow the strengthening of public health response, which would reduce the recovery of the economy and provide succour to the poor and vulnerable.
 “The gradual reopening of the economy will span a total of six weeks broken into three tranches of two weeks each.
“This phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions while strengthening our public health response, which would ultimately reduce the recovery of our economy and provide succour to the poor and vulnerable.
“In line with Mr. President’s directive in paragraphs 38-41 of his broadcast, the PTF has developed sector specific guidelines.
“To underscore the collaborative efforts with sub-national levels of government, they are encouraged to provide leadership in engaging relevant associations responsible for various sectors e.g market associations and transport unions for orderly and effective implementation.
“Similarly, I want to emphasise the need for the security agencies to strictly enforce these new measures that have been put in place,” Mustapha told the media.
The SGF said that the technical team of public health experts sent by the PTF to Kano had commenced evaluation of the situation in the state.
He also said that 50 trucks of assorted grains have been sent to Kano and that the grains were due for delivery within the next 48 hours.
The SGF added: “In furtherance of tackling the situation in Kano, the technical team of public health experts sent by the PTF has begun the evaluation of the situation in the state, working in collaboration with the state’s team.
“I am pleased to also inform you that the operationalization of the laboratories in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Bayero University Kano, will considerably improve our response to the pandemic in Kano State.
“Additionally, fifty trucks of assorted grains have been sent to Kano and due for delivery within the next 48 hours. The PTF appreciates the cooperation of the Governor and the medical team in Kano State.”
Mustapha explained that the overnight curfew is applicable nationwide from 8.00pm to 06.00am daily, effective from Monday, 4th of May.
The Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu announced that banks and public transportation would resume operations on Monday but within the confines of already released protocols and regulations.
He said: “In terms of the banks this continues to be a recurring issues to all of us. We have been in touch with the CBN governor, from Monday banks will open and they will open normal services from 8am to 2pm, so that is six hours but there will be the usual restrictions.
“For instance physical distancing, the use of temperature monitors and hygiene and making sure that the capacity of the banking halls is restricted so that many people do not come together. We expect to operate as normal apart from the restrictions.
“On public transport, outside the curfew hours, buses and motor parks will be allowed to open for some hours in a day I believe from 6am to 6pm and taxis will also be allowed to operate.
“But because this is a respiratory balance infections what we are really trying to do is to limit interactions between persons.
” Because if you come in contact with person who is infected, it is a highly infectious organism and we don’t want you to end up with COVID and one of the best ways of preventing transmission is to put space between you and the other person.
” So there will be regulations around reducing the numbers of passengers for instance in taxis, there will be rules around the number of hours they can operate which is why we brought in the curfew hours and also the issue of hygiene, respiratory hygiene and others.”
“This is all directed towards reducing transmission which  is what we are really trying to do. But we will allow some semblance of transportation to be available in the states including the FCT.”
Aliyu said the lockdown was not really relaxed but that the government was moving towards a containment phase.
He explained that the lockdown was introduced primarily to slow the progress of the pandemic and to prepare the nation’s health systems for the crisis.

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